The easiest way to run Joomla on your computer

I am not a developer, but spend a lot of time managing and collaborating on site and extension development. There is no need for me to run Joomla locally (using XAMPP or WAMP) on my machine for these day to day duties. With all the concerns related to Heartbleed and other vulnerabilities recently, and the complexities of running Virtual Machines, I went to look for another way to be able to run multiple Joomla websites on my machine for the conference. I wanted something easy and safe, and found it is USB Web Server. It easily installs on a USB drive, and I can simply unplug it and be assured my system is safe.

I have been preparing my presentation for the Joomla World Conference on configuring Joomla! multilingual websites using the core multilingual features found in Joomla 3. In addition I am preparing some training sessions for Joomla Resource Directory (JRD) and Joomla Community Magazine (JCM) contributors on how to submit and manage translations. We are proud that these projects have selected Josetta® to manage the translation submissions, and happy to be able to support these efforts and I will of course be available to answer any questions any time at the conference.

Setting up USB Web Server could not be easier, simply download a zip file and unzip it to a folder on your zip drive. There is a small problem I ran into, I Googled the issue and it seems something that is quite common when people install Joomla on local machines. I assume you have already know how to install Joomla, but will add some links one the install process after your USB Web Server setup. Note that USB Web Server id for Windows only, I have not found a free MAC equivalent.

The very short and easy way to install Joomla on your USB Drive

  1. Download USB Web Server and extract it to a folder on your USB Drive 
  2. Download Joomla and extract it to the ‘root’ folder created when extracting USB Web Server
  3. Run USB Web Server executable Go to ‘localhost’ in your browser

Step by Step with Fix for multiple site setup

  1. Download USB Web Server at
  2. Extract the USB Web Server files into the “d:/USBWebServer” folder (just unzip to d:/)
  3. Test that the server works
    • Navigate to d:/USBWebServer Doubleclick usbwebserver.exe 
    • Your firewall may ask permission to open ports
    • Note that apache and mySQL have started (checkmarks)
    • click localhost (or type ‘localhost:8080’ in a browser)
    • if you see the USB Web Server page, congrats your server is installed
  4. Download Joomla (put it on the USB drive in case you need more installs while online)
  5. Extract to a folder under USB Web Server’s root (I created jwc1, jwc2, and a few more to be prepared with many installs)
  6. FIX for stuck on creating database:
    • edit jwc1\installation\sql\mysql\Joomla.sql replacing all instances of "ENGINE=InnoDB" with "ENGINE=MyIsam"
  7. Navigate to localhost:8080/jwc1/ in your browser (of course you can name your folders anything you like)
  8. Install Joomla
    • select MySQL as database MySQLi does not work (you can change it if this a dev site once you move it to your host)
    • default database username = root
    • default database password = usbw

There is even a full video on installing Joomla on the USB Web Server FAQ page, KUDOS!!! Also see the Installing Joomla Documentation

I’m glad I found USB Web Server in order to set up Joomla sites quickly, safely and knowing it can be done even without an Internet connection. I hope it helps you, whether you are preparing for talks, workshops or just trying Joomla for the first time.

Let me know what you think, and I Hope to see you in Cancun!

Last modified on Oct282014
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